Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

PLAY TO PAY: The combination of gently raspy vocals with finger-picked guitar in Asheville singer/songwriter Sean Bendula's serenades makes listening a restorative activity. The artist recently decided to turn this hobby into a full-fledged profession. Still frame from Bendula's music video for "The Light"

Crowdfunding platforms make it possible for individuals and organizations of any size to harness social networks and raise start-up capital for projects that might otherwise fail due to lack of funding. Each week, Xpress highlights notable Western North Carolina crowdsourcing initiatives that may inspire readers to become new faces in the crowd.

Sean Bendula’s new career

“I have recently decided to pursue music as my full time employer,” writes Asheville vocalist and guitar player Sean Bendula. “So far, it’s been very rewarding and inspiring. I’ve been able to concentrate more on my craft, writing more often and focusing on playing more gigs. I’ve always felt that in order to reach my full potential as a musican and songwriter, I would someday have to make this tough decision.” Bendula recently wrote several songs, which he hopes to have professionally recorded following a successful campaign. He’s also got a music video shoot planned for the near future. In addition to investing some of his own money, the musician aims to raise $5,000 through crowdfunding to pay for his recording and video projects.

Chris Horne competes to be heard on “The Voice”

Local musician Chris “Bodhi” Horne has scored an audition to compete on NBC’s “The Voice.” “You better believe I’m going full-on ham!” he writes. “I believe in this path. My soul is fully on fire, and I recognize destiny in the making. I’ve always told my three kids to follow their hearts and believe in their dreams, and the universe will become [an] ally in your success. Help me show them anything is possible when you dare to go all the way.” To prepare for the opportunity, the singer is working with Asheville-based vocal coach Patrick Dodd, who previously appeared on the show. Horne aims to raise $1,400 to book travel and accommodations for his audition in Philadelphia on Saturday, Feb. 20.

The Voice
Photo from Horne’s crowdfunding page

Send your crowdsourcing campaign news to kmcreynolds@mountainx.com. A limited number of campaigns will be highlighted each week, at Xpress’ discretion. Campaigns must be locally based and should represent a current project with an achievable goal. Conditions are subject to change. Read about more Western North Carolina projects here.


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About Kat McReynolds
Kat studied entrepreneurship and music business at the University of Miami and earned her MBA at Appalachian State University. Follow me @katmAVL

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